Through the Eyes of Bakary

The jury's description of the nominee: 

"Striking work with a very inspiring account of the positive effects of Islam values in everyday life being Muslim. The author tells us a story of redemption and reintegration to society thanks to the support of Islamic religion in Bakary’s struggle to be a better human being. This is very important, we think, in a world where Islam is very often and wrongly identified with violence or terrorism."



Bakary, 35 years old, grew up in the 19th arrondissement, north-east of Paris, in a building on the edge of the town. A childhood in the 1980s between Stalingrad and Riquet (metro stations) meant he was in the heart of the rise of hip-hop culture but also during the rise of crack. In his youth, he spent a lot of time in the street trying to make money until the police came to pick him up in college.

It is through Islam that Bakary found the strength to fight and get back on the right path. Bakary is now active in the estate in a very different way. The caretaker of one of the building of the estate, he is now an activist who fights for his neighbourhood. Despite the many controversies that affect his community, Bakary Sakho continues his mediation work to try to improve the daily life of his neighborhood.

'Through the eyes of Bakary ' looks at the lives of the black Muslim community of the 19th district.

Bakary is well known and respected in his neighborhood where he has lived all his life. He stops every five minutes to greet people from the neighbourhood - parents, youth or the elderly - to ask for news or give advice.By Hugo Aymar
In Bakary’s lodge: He is the caretaker of one of the buildings of the curial public housing estate, where he lives with his wife and two children. All day long, Bakary makes round trips inside the curial estate. By Hugo Aymar
Bakary during the collective prayer of Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan month. He helped to organise the prayer with the Muslim neighbourhood associations. The Muslim community of the 19th district is the largest in Paris. By Hugo Aymar
The Muslim community of the 19th district is the largest in Paris. Three gyms have been rented in the 19th for the occasion.By Hugo Aymar
In front of a gym of the 19th district of Paris, rented by members of the Muslim community, at the end of the collective prayer of Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.By Hugo Aymar
Bakary looks at youth working out at the gym of the neigbourhood. He hates seeing young people hanging around aimlessly in the estate. Bakary try to come at least three times a week at the sports hall. By Hugo Aymar
Bakary prays in a small room in front of his lodge, left to the caretakers for their rest time.By Hugo Aymar
Youths of the 19th district hang out in front of a grocery store. The biggest public housing estates of Paris are located in the 19th district, which is one of the poorest of the capital.By Hugo Aymar
Muslim children look at a cemetery of the 19th district.By Hugo Aymar
Friday prayer in an African workers' hostel. Despite the largest Muslim community in the capital, the district has only one temporary mosque installed by the City Council.By Hugo Aymar
At the initiative of Bakary, a free distribution of food for is organised for the Syrian and Afghan refugees who sleep outside of the “Halle Pajol“ on the border of the 18th and 19th districts of Paris.By Hugo Aymar
Bakary takes children from the neighborhood karting and to play laser-game in the suburbs of Paris. Some of them do not do any after school activities with their parents. They will spend the all day kart driving and playing video games.By Hugo Aymar

See Also

zenith Photo Award 2014

The third edition of the zenith Photo Award called upon professional and amateur photographers alike to pick up their cameras and take part in the debate on what Islam in Germany looks like.